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It’s back!! Health Canada has finally approved the return of this amazing nutrient. Carnitine is known for its ability to increase energy production in our cells by shuttling fatty acids into the mitochondria. While technically not an amino acid, it is made from the amino acids lysine and methionine, and has a structure similar to B vitamins. Carnitine is important for our hearts and muscles. Without it we would lack energy and stamina and our hearts would not pump efficiently.

Therapeutically, L-carnitine is used to treat angina, atherosclerosis, and other forms of heart disease. There have been many studies showing that supplementing with extra l-carnitine can improve blood flow and help in the recovery of heart attack or stroke.

L-Carnitine is very popular in the athletic community. With its ability to pull fatty acids into the cells to  burn for energy, it is thought of as an enhancement to exercise and weight loss. Studies are generally mixed as to whether there is a significant advantage of l-carnitine for this purpose. It does however show promise for those dealing with chronic fatigue.

Dosages range from 1 to 3 grams per day. Carnitine is very safe in these ranges, if you go higher than 5 grams some experience nausea, diarrhea, or a fishy body odour. Pregnant women and people with liver or kidney disease should not take L-Carnitine.

February 13, 2012